North Hills ENT

Chronic Sinusitis

If you have persistent inflammation or swelling of the tissues that line your sinuses, you could have a condition called chronic sinusitis. Under normal circumstances, your sinuses are full of air, but when they get blocked and filled with fluid, viruses, bacteria, or fungi can accumulate there and lead to a sinus infection.

Causes and Concerns

Sinus blockages can be caused by a common cold or from swelling of the nasal linings due to allergic rhinitis. Other causes may include small growths within the nasal passages (nasal polyps) or a deviation in the nasal cavity. Approximately 37 million U.S. citizens suffer from one or more attacks of sinusitis every year. There are various types of sinusitis including:

  • Chronic Sinusitis – Symptoms persist for eight weeks or perhaps longer.
  • Acute Sinusitis – Cold-like symptoms develop suddenly.
  • Sub-acute Sinusitis – Sinus inflammation lasts from four to eight weeks.
  • Recurrent Sinusitis – Several attacks of sinusitis occur during the course of a single year.

Signs and Symptoms

With the chronic form of sinusitis, you have persistence in the signs and symptoms of the condition. If you have been suffering from chronic sinusitis, your symptoms may linger for at least eight weeks. The common signs and symptoms  include:

  • Swelling of the mucous membranes of the nose
  • Nasal drainage that may be yellow or green
  • Stuffy nose and nasal congestion
  • Facial pain and pressure that may be worse with bending over
  • Headaches
  • Visual disturbances
  • Changes in the senses of smell and/or taste
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Bad breath
  • Teeth pain or toothache

Solutions and Options

Diagnostic testing for a patient with symptoms of chronic sinusitis could include the following: Nasal endoscopy, CT scans of the sinuses, blood work, allergy testing, and mucosal cultures.

The treatment of chronic sinusitis depends on the underlying cause. Determining and then addressing any contributing factors and potential triggers is a critical strategy in your chronic sinusitis management. To decrease your nasal congestion, your doctor may suggest prescription nasal sprays or oral decongestant medications. If you suffer from episodes of severe chronic sinusitis, oral steroids may be necessary to reduce your nasal inflammation. Other treatment options may include antibiotic therapy, antihistamines, and surgery.

Home remedies for chronic sinusitis include:

  • A vaporizer or humidifier (inhalation of steam or cool mist)
  • Warm compresses (apply to your nose/sinuses to relieve pain)
  • Nasal saline drops (relieve congestion)
  • Increase fluid intake (drinking water thins nasal secretions)
  • Non-prescription nasal decongestant sprays (use with caution)

Summary

Your doctor could strongly advise you to make certain lifestyle changes to alleviate your chronic sinusitis symptoms on an ongoing basis, such as quitting smoking and avoiding symptom triggers. If you or someone you love has the symptoms of chronic sinusitis, contact one of our caring specialists for a consultation. Our expert providers can help you find a solution.

Call us at 817-595-3700 to schedule an appointment.

Additional Reading: http://www.webmd.com/allergies/guide/allergies-sinusitis